picochess v0.9g – move time

DGT-3000 with carton

With this release i focus on the “move time”. Since picochess takes the time from the clock now, it showed 0:00 for a short moment when you played a move (only in move time mode). Thats cause the time ran out on the former computer move. This is now fixed and was the main reason a new release is done so quickly again. Despite this i also improved/changed the following things:

  • Update of fischer time. The 4/2 time is gone now (you can still make it back with the time feature which allows you 1 extra time if you really want) and the 60/30 is changed. The new times are 60/20 and 90/30. Basically i did that cause some people (especially people with old chess computers) wanted to get something like 2h/game or 2h/40moves. Tournament time controls are still not done – and frankly that will take some time – but having such long time controls allows a feeling of 2h/game. 90mins + 40*30secs = 110mins , thats similar to 2h. I’m aware thats not exactly the same. Also this 90min start time is similar to the rest of time control settings.
  • docu updates & other small updates. For example there were a space at the end of the site tag in the pgn file which is now removed.
  • move time now also running down to zero for the player. If it reaches 0 nothing would happen – just stop the clock. Since im working on picochess for over 2years now, i always felt strange why the players clock is not running. I personally found this unlogical and i asked some key account players if they think we should change this now. The result you can see – its changed. I’m aware that especially in lower times settings like 5sec/move the player now might feel some kind of pressure to move. But first nothing would happen, if you think longer and second its a kind of fair to the engine to not think alot longer.
  • Uwe asked me to list the engines uci options inside the engines file for easier updating the engine settings. Thats a sort of blueprint what you can tell the engine. I think that is a good idea, so thats also inside this release now. To see that you need to run “build/engines” again. But thats only needed if you really want to tweak the engines – for normal usage of picochess you dont need to do this.



      • It looks like the latest binary is 0.9e, which is a few versions old. The move timer seems to not work correctly (timer runs out but no penalty). What is the proper method to compile 0.9g and update without losing my settings for Picochess?

        • Hi Joe,
          in TimeMode “MoveTime” nothing would happen, if the clock reaches zero, just stop – thats so by design and not a bug.

          The provided images arent updated all the time. They are only for easy access (or have a start point), cause you can update your picochess if you enable the “enable-update” flag in your picochess.ini file and then restart.

          • I turned on enable-update, but now it’s stuck in an infinite loop where the clock says “updating”, then says “USB Board” followed by “Pico 0.9e” (the version is was originally), and then reboots again. I try logging into the Pi through Putty to change the picochess.ini back, but it keeps dropping me out now. What would cause it to indefinitely reboot and try to update?

          • I was able to solve the infinite reboot loop by quickly commenting out the line before it rebooted again. It still says version 0.9e vice 0.9g. Does the auto update only go up to 0.9e?

          • Hi Joe,
            hmmm.. For knowing what went wrong, i would need the log file.
            Since y able to login, y can try this inside /opt/picochess
            “sudo su git pull” thats basically, what picochess is doing.
            It will always update to the newest version.

            Another way would be to press the middle button during “picochess” is displayed. Then y can choose which version you want to go.
            But i doubt that will work since yr first try also didnt. So try the “command line”

          • That worked, thanks! I noticed this version has Rodent 3, which I’m happy about! Quick question, is there a way to change the personality category for Rodent via the clock, or do I need to edit the d-rodent.uci manually for that?


  1. [admin] I auto-translated the german text to english. Please post in english only. If y cant, write me a short notice. Thanks!

    Dear Mr. Precour,
    I own the DGT Pi chess computer and I have now added version 0.9l. Everything works fine. But I have an understanding question about the version 0.9g “Move-Time”, here the Fischer mode. You mention in the hints the “Time Feature” which allows an extra time. Although I found the time menu, but could not enter any extra time, but only select one of the given times. Background: For some practical exercises I would need the Fischer playing time 8 ‘/ 30 “or 10’ / 30”. Would this be possible in version 0.9l? And if so where and how can I make these settings.
    Best regards
    Herbert Weinrich

    • Dear Mr Weinrich,
      this feature is a flag you cant change by clock, sorry. You need to update the underlying “picochess.ini” file (so login, and run an editor). Are y able to do so?
      Since i dont know how good your computer knowledge (esp. on linux!) is, i wait for your answer. The only problem might be that you can only do so for 1 extra time control, so if you switch between your controls, you need to do this editing again.

  2. Hallo,
    Thank you so much for your very fast response. I have Computer Knowledge but this is to much for me and so i will dont change it.
    But I will look in the ini.File just for a view.
    Thank you and good luck to your projects.

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